AB de Villiers produced an outstanding match-winning innings to guide the Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League.
Deccan was asked to bat and Shikhar Dhawan led the visitors, taking on the likes of Zaheer Khan and Muttiah Muralitharan.
With Daniel Harris at the other end, Dhawan belted his shots to almost every part of the ground, completing his fifty off just 39 balls. Though Harris at the other end fell on 47 to a run-out, there was no stopping Dhawan who even smashed a six to propel his team forward.
Cameron White supported his younger but much more menacing partner well and himself, had 45 off 24 balls to show.
Bangalore finally got the wicket of White but it was only in the final over of the innings with 10 runs being whacked in the ensuing deliveries.
In reply, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Chris Gayle went one better, racking up 91 runs for the first wicket. It seemed a lost cause again for Deccan as they put together the runs in only 64 balls. Dilshan was the more aggressive of the two, scoring 71 runs off 54 balls. He hit eight fours and two sixes, while Gayle also hit two sixes but just the one four. Gayle was bowled for 26 off 22 balls in the 11th over and it looked as if it would be the turning point for the innings.
Wickets started tumbling at the other end and the scoring rate dipped. Virat Kohli was out for just nine runs and when Dilshan was out in the 16th over, they had lost four wickets for only 26 runs. Bangalore had gone from 91 for no loss to 117 for four, but that is when Mayank Agarwal and de Villiers came together.
With four overs to, they still needed 52 runs for victory. And the two batsmen at the crease made it seem like child’s play.
Agarwal made 18 off six balls but the real damage was done by de Villiers. In a display of gruesome hitting, he smacked 47 runs off a mere 17 balls, hitting five fours and three sixes, as Bangalore won with an unbelievable seven balls to spare.